Monday, March 21, 2011

For our children

I was at the doctor's office today.

Before leaving, the nurse gave me a card to put on my car for parking.

"Oh, I don't need that, I don't have a car"...(one less thing to worry about).

She seemed interested. She wanted to know more.

"Well, we each had a car and they both gave out around the same time. I was told that it was better to get a different car - as opposed to keeping this one, as the cost was going to be more than the car was worth. So, we donated my car (after donating Don's, or, actually, leaving it on the side of Coors for KUNM to pick up) to KUNM as well."

"Well", she asks, "what about a baby?"

"We don't have a baby. Oh, I guess you know that [the appointment was at a fertility clinic]. You mean, what will we do when we have a baby? I don't know, we haven't gotten that far yet.."

Ibert Toddler Bike Seat

Yet, actually we have gotten there, at least in conversation and in theory. We figured, even if we did get a car with the arrival of a new soul, we would still like to have the car as the alternate form of transportation. We may be naive and overly ambitious, but, I do believe there are ways we can move through parenthood/child-rearing that can be both safe and philosophically sound for the entire family.

I am not suggesting an infant on my bike, but, we are a block away from a bus stop, five blocks from a hospital and in walking distance from grocery stores. The car can be used for emergencies as I will be responsible when it comes to the child's health. But, in addition to making sure my child is safe and secure, I want to raise a child who is aware of other options. I want them to know the experience of two wheels, fresh air, and the sounds of the world around them. I want to give them a chance to get it into their bones before the world starts to "re-educate" them. I want them to know that they can be in the world in many ways, not just the one that is dictated to them.


  1. I just found your blog through the Duke City fix. I am not carless, but I love my bicycles. I road with an Ibert on an xtracycle from the time my son was 10 months until he turned 2 and a half. I now have a Madsen to transport up to 4 kids as my primary ride and I love it. I live in Nob Hill and I love riding with my children. Thank you for inspiring riders n ABQ!

  2. way back int he 80s I rode with one toddler behind me, and very occasionally, with a tiny one on my back in a baby pack, the only way I had to get them to their care givers while I was in class. I still use quiet streets for getting around, avoid traffic. My two girls are carless right now, living in cities that don't favor car owners (DC and Ankara, Turkey). They are avid bus, tram, trolley, metro and bike users--all from the getgo.